Space Station Astronauts Perform Zero-Gravity Research As Cygnus Counts Down To Launch | Space

Cygnus Captured By Canadarm2 Robotic Arm August 2023 Scaled.jpg

Northrop Grumman’s Cygnus cargo craft is pictured moments after it was captured by the Canadarm2 robotic arm controlled by NASA astronaut and Expedition 69 Flight Engineer Woody Hoburg from inside the International Space Station on August 4, 2023. Credit: NASA

Cargo mission preparations and space research kept the Expedition 70 and Axiom Mission 3 (Ax-3) crews busy at the beginning of the week. The 11 residents working together aboard the International Space Station (ISS) also continued their ongoing biomedical science and lab maintenance activities.

Northrop Grumman’s Cygnus space freighter is sitting atop a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket counting down to a lift off no earlier than 12:07 p.m. EST on Tuesday. Cygnus is packed with more than 8,200 pounds of science and supplies scheduled for delivery to the orbital outpost on Thursday, February 1. Among the new science experiments being delivered are the Metal 3D Printer which tests the 3D printing of small metal parts in space and the Robotic Surgery Tech Demo which tests remotely controlled surgical techniques.

NASA’s Northrop Grumman 20th commercial resupply mission will carry more than 8,200 pounds (3,720 kilograms) of cargo to the International Space Station. Credit: NASA.

NASA astronauts Jasmin Moghbeli and Loral O’Hara trained on a computer Monday afternoon for Cygnus’ arrival. Moghbeli will be at the robotics workstation on Thursday commanding the Canadarm 2 robotic arm to capture Cygnus at 4:20 a.m. O’Hara will also be on duty monitoring Cygnus’ automated approach and rendezvous early Thursday.

The duo along with JAXA (Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency) astronaut Satoshi Furukawa started the day with blood, saliva, and urine sample collections. The samples were processed first then stowed in a science freezer for later analysis to understand how living in weightlessness affects the human body. Furukawa later assisted Ax-3 crewmates Michael López-Alegría and Alper Gezeravcı as they studied how to use…

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